3D is quickly becoming vital for tent-pole film releases and marketing for big films has reflected that. 3D is increasing its penetration into homes everyday with 3D enabled televisions too. However, this trend has earned the ire of longtime movie critic Roger Ebert.

3-D is a waste of a perfectly good dimension, writes Ebert. Hollywood’s current crazy stampede toward it is suicidal. It adds nothing essential to the moviegoing experience. For some, it is an annoying distraction. For others, it creates nausea and headaches. It is driven largely to sell expensive projection equipment and add a $5 to $7.50 surcharge on already expensive movie tickets. Its image is noticeably darker than standard 2-D. It is unsuitable for grown-up films of any seriousness. It limits the freedom of directors to make films as they choose. For moviegoers in the PG-13 and R ranges, it only rarely provides an experience worth paying a premium for.

Ebert acknowledges that the business half of the movie industry loves 3D, given its help in making 2010’s top three movies (Alice in Wonderland, How to Train Your Dragon, and Clash of the Titans) even more successful. However, he argues that it adds little to most movies, is distracting, causes headache and eyestrain, costs more per ticket and isn’t appropriate for all movies. He also noted that true improvement might come from clearer projection systems like MaxiVision48 and Showscan.

I’m not opposed to 3-D as an option. I’m opposed to it as a way of life for Hollywood, where it seems to be skewing major studio output away from the kinds of films we think of as Oscar-worthy, writes Ebert. Scorsese and Herzog make films for grown-ups. Hollywood is racing headlong toward the kiddie market. Disney recently announced it will make no more traditional films at all, focusing entirely on animation, franchises, and superheroes. I have the sense that younger Hollywood is losing the instinctive feeling for story and quality that generations of executives possessed. It’s all about the marketing. Hollywood needs a projection system that is suitable for all kinds of films every film and is hands-down better than anything audiences have ever seen. The marketing executives are right that audiences will come to see a premium viewing experience they can’t get at home. But they’re betting on the wrong experience.

Source: Newsweek